Monday, July 30, 2012

36 Weeks: what a swell time.

My firstborn came as a complete surprise.
Actually, it was more like a rude shock, which is an understatement. Andy & I were planning wedding venues & dates and I didn't even suspect I was knocked up. One morning, I just felt really exhausted & even threw up my sardine curry puffs. The company doctor diagnosed me as having "Gastroenteritis" and sent me home on 2 days' MC plus medication.
The first thing that crossed my mind was - Shit, I missed my period for 2 months and we DIDNT suspect that?! I took a pregnancy test to be sure, and in denial, I took another test.
It was sure as taxes and death.
I called up Andy & my galfriend crying. A baby was the last thing I hoped for. My married life is over before it even began.
I wasn't a child-person. In fact, I loved my freedom and shopping so much and was just about to venture into a new chapter called Marriage with the man I've been dating for 6yrs.
Having a baby certainly wasn't on my Married Life list. Not yet anyway. But it happened. And we were going to be parents *gulp*
Andy took the news better than I did. He was overjoyed and made an appointment for us to see a Obgyn. We went for the 1st scan and heard the heartbeat.
From then on, there was no turning back. Fast forward 3 yrs.

For Baby #2, it was a planned pregnancy. Andy was sure he wanted a 2nd baby but I kept putting it off and cited my part-time Nursing Degree as the excuse (remember I'm not so much a child-person & I was perfectly contented with the financial stability & undivided love that we could shower on Adam).
Alas I finally graduated from my 2-year course, armed with a Degree, a better job offer & fatter paycheck, (and plus the fact that I secretly yearned to smell a newborn again because I missed Adam's infancy), I caved in to Andy's wish to conceive again. It was perfect timing & all planned.


We recently went for my Week 36 checkup & my good Doctor passed me my admission letter to Mt Alvernia & asked if I've packed my hospital bag, and have we decided our birth plan - To try VBAC or Csect? Andy & I looked at eachother gobsmacked. I think I'll huff & I'll puff and I'll squeeze the baby out, does it sound like a solid birth plan??

Then I realized the hard truth - no amount of planning could ever prepare you for parenthood.

Parenthood is scary.
- It's about sleepless nights.
- Worrying about adequate milk supply/ proper latching techniques.
- Worrying about pooping too much/ too little.
- Putting someone else's fears & feelings before your own.
- Giving up buying that pair of Chanel shoes just so you can pay for something child-related, like Enrichment classes or a whole month's worth of milk powder & groceries.
- Cleaning up puke & curdled milk, and changing bedsheets at 2am because of a sick child and still struggling to work by 8am.
- Praying for peace and quiet but yet worrying when there's actual peace and quiet because your kid might be jamming his fingers in the sockets or busy doodling on your work documents.
- Going insane with that Barney song playing over and over on DVD.
- Getting extremely horrified at the wild toddler in the supermart who unfortunately belongs to you (I sometimes pretend I'm the Big Sister until I'm addressed as Mummy by that misbehaving toddler).

Suddenly, EVERYONE has an opinion on your pregnancy and child-rearing ways.
You know how those nosy pokers are ?
- If you're married they wanna know when you'll have a baby.
- When you have a baby they wanna know when you're having the next baby.
- And they also wanna know the genders & names.
- They offer you lots of unsolicited advice, even though the last time they were pregnant was at least 40 years ago.
- "If you have 2 boys nevermind can try for a girl for Number 3" (are you insane Aunty?!)
- "Are you going to breastfeed?" (What is it any of your business anyway unless you wanna help me breastfeed?)
- "You are so skinny and your Breastmilk looks diluted, are you sure you're feeding the baby enough?" That was what my MIL said to me. I simply asked her - did you breastfeed your 2 sons? To which she replied a 'No' & thankfully took the cue to shut the F up.
- "Why are you so insistent on breastfeeding? All 3 of you were formula-fed and still went to University." This came from my Mum and honestly if she weren't my mum, I would have stabbed her mouth with a fork. And stabbed her some more.
- "You should let the baby cry it out." This is the most Bullshit advice I ever heard. Babies want their basic needs met and crying is only communication they know. I can never cuddle my baby enough, and now he's a whooping 3 yr old who much prefers running around to cuddling in my arms. I'm glad I didn't buy that stupid advice. Whoever says that to me with Baby No 2 is gonna have me scream in their face.
- "You should let your child get used to eating some junk instead of organic food to build the immune system." So I have my own beliefs which may differ from yours and I really appreciate your kind advice but I think we are doing fine thankyouverymuch .

Of course there are the moments when my stinky 3 yr old promises to be good (even if only for a grand total of 5 min), and tells me he loves me, and the way he brushes hair off my face mimicking the way I do to his, telling me stories about how his day went at school at bedtime, and those precious moments that no amount of $$ can buy that only a parent could understand.
Makes me suffer selective memory-loss about the whole scary parenting affair.
I love you Adam Tan Tian Kai. Even if it's an emotional roller coaster ride every single day. You have no idea.

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